Imbolc: Feb 2
Imbolc is one of those Pagan holidays that has been so transparently transferred into the mass culture as “Groundhog Day” that it always makes me laugh. Punxsutawny Phil is the descendant of hedgehogs and serpents sacred to the Celts, for example…who saw Imbolc as the time when burrowing hibernators began to awake and prepare for the blossoming of Spring. It is a hopeful time of year where we in Northern climes strain to see the warm weather that is not quite in evidence yet. Spring is just something we have to take on faith.
Often Pagans like to harness the energy of this holiday to "germinate" new energies, patterns, people, or so on in their lives. I went to a public ritual last nite and part of it was to appraoch a priestess robed like Goddess Bridgit, standing in front of an anvil. We communicated to Bridgit (verbally or silently) our intentions/vows for a new beginning in some way. The Priestess as Bridgit recieved our vows and hit the anvil with a hammer to seal the deal. It was a pretty cool visualization.
Another factor in traditional Imbolc is the lactation/breeding cycles of domestic livestock would kick in to productivity around this time. The word Imbolc is derived from a celtic reference to ewe's milk. As such we vegans can take the opportunity to send some healing energy to animals currently exploited by the factory-scale dairy industry and a culture of massive dairy consumption.
Imbolc would be a great time to support a rescue for farm animals, like Farm Sanctuary. One could also buy a book about the topic (like those supported by PETA or Farm Sanctuary) to donate to a local library. There are even children's picture books and story books on these topics. Send some energy to the creatures who suffer so that we can have their milk. I am sure the Goddess will thank you and support your wishes and vows. Take care, get ready for Spring, and blessed be.